Monday, April 25, 2016

Remember the Playground?

Here's 11 things you don't see on the playground any more.

I remember really long slides. When you were little, just climbing the ladder was a daunting affair. Really, even then, would my mother have let a 5 year old climb an extension ladder and step up onto the roof? But it was on the playground and no one considered it.

Teeter-totters. 'Nuff said.

Monkey bars and jungle gyms. I never broke an arm or a collarbone, but I was there when it happened.

The most unusual thing I have seen for kids to play on was in Beaufort, S.C. There was a small park on Pigeon Point that had an old fighter jet sitting on it's landing gear. The tires were flat. The canopy was open. You could climb on it, up in the engine cavity or over the wings, sit in the cockpit, it was just there, all sharp edges and oxidation.

I was an adult, working on F-4s, and lived just down the street. I would walk around it, look at things, wonder what year it had taken it's last flight, and who the guys were that had last safety wired a bolt in place.

It was an FJ-2 Fury and the base eventually took the plane back and fixed it up . It is on a pedestal outside the gate at MCAS Beaufort. Kids don't play on it anymore.


What's your memories of playgrounds?

11 comments:

Jim said...

Fire trucks. Old, open cab, cracked rubber parts, rusted chrome, smelled of grease and adventure!

juvat said...

I remember an F-86 in a schoolyard in Novato CA. I don't remember the cockpit being accessible, but I do remember being able to crawl in the intake and exit out the exhaust. Mom would usually have to drag me home from there. I don't remember anyone injured beyond a small cut or scrape. Well, until I broke an arm discovering inertia.

Chickenmom said...

Getting the swings go fast and high enough to wrap around the top! Wheeee!

Sdv1949 said...

After you climbed to the top of that long, tall slide the steel would burn your butt all the way down from it sitting in the sun all day.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Jim, and our little local playground still has a version of monkey bars, AND a merry-go-round!!! (But this is in Texas)...

scoobyintexas said...

One park I went to as a kid had some sort of WWII surplus tracked armored vehicle with a big gun. It wasn't a Sherman; maybe a tank destroyer?

Guffaw in AZ said...

Swings, monkey bars, tetherball.
The metal merry-go-round - you rand in circles and jumped on to get dizzy!

Much of the equipment was too hot half the year, when the temps were above 90 or 100!

gfa

GuardDuck said...

I grew up in logging country. We had old tires from earth moving equipment laid out and half buried for us to play in and on.

Bob said...

My first elementary school had a "fort" that incorporated monkey bars, a ladder, a roofed platform about 6' high, a slide to exit the platform, as well as a "fireman's pole" to exit the platform from the center. Since the Batman TV series with Adam West was televised in those days, we'd yell "To the Batpoles!" and giggle hysterically when we used it.

Later on, when President Kennedy's physical fitness program became popular, the same school installed an obstacle course behind the playground, which included a tower to be climbed via chains (about 15' high, as I recall) and a climbing rope that was about 20' long.

knirirr said...

The very playground rides I remember using can be seen here. I also recall another park having a defunct steam shunting engine which was made available for children to play on.

Murphy's Law said...

Long, tall slides that were hot as the sun if you slid down wearing shorts...Swings that you could nearly reach escape velocity on before launching yourself downrange into the sand piled up just for that....Merry-go-rounds that served only to allow experiments in centrifugal force and nausea...teeter-totters that could launch rocks and small kids clean out of the playground when you jumped on the other end...

Best "toy" ever though was an old steam engine at a particular park that you could climb all over and get cut up on. But these were all in the days before scums-sucking personal injury lawyers started advertising on TV, promising wealth to the parents of kids hurt in the least on these deadly accoutrements of fun.